The Kingston Land Trust Places “The Dig Kids – An Urban Farming Program” in the hands of Kingston Cares

DigkidsLogowithoutKingston

 

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Kingston Cares continues “The Dig Kids” – An Urban Farming Program for Youth in the city of Kingston now in its third year.

Four youth will be selected through an application process to be paid as a part time job throughout the summer to ‘farm’ the garden at the Everett Hodge Center and Van Buren Street Playground Park.

Kingston, NY – “The Dig Kids” – An Urban Farming Program now in its third year is getting underway in Kingston. Created by the Kingston Land Trust, the program is now in the hands of Kingston Cares (Family of Woodstock) guided by program coordinator Megan Weiss.

‘The Dig Kids” is charged in working with Kingston youth to grow food, learn farming practices, encourage entrepreneurship, beautification, pride and good health through hands on farming experiences.  Throughout the program, youth will be paid to work after school and throughout the summer at two garden sites that include both the Everett Hodge Center on Franklin Street and Van Buren Playground Park on Van Buren Street in Kingston.  Youth must be 14 – 21 to participate, although several youth 13 or younger will be chosen to ‘mentor’ throughout season.  In addition to growing vegetables and tending the gardens, “The Dig Kids” will learn culinary skills, visit farms and sell some of their crops to the community under the stewardship of Farmer Kaycee Wimbish who will also tend the South Pine Street City Farm and work towards building a new ‘urban farm’ at the YMCA, all in the city of Kingston.  Kaycee will be assisted by Leanne Tory-Murphy and experienced organizer, gardener with a background in children’s programming.

Applications are now available for Garden Mentors (ages 14-21). If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact Megan Weiss at 845/331-1110 or email  mweiss@familyofwoodstockinc.org

If you wish to make a donation to the program, please visit FAMILY OF WOODSTOCK and designate your donation to ‘The Dig Kids’.

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About the Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program

Formerly a program of the Kingston Land Trust, THE DIG KIDS – AN URBAN FARMING PROGRAM in 2013 is a new program of Kingston Cares (a program of Family of Woodstock) in partnership with Larrecca Music Management and Croswell Enterprises, Inc. and the generous support of the City of Kingston and the City of Kingston’s Parks and Recreation Department.

“The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program” is charged in working with Kingston youth to grow food, learn farming practices, encourage entrepreneurship, beautification, pride and good health through hands on farming experiences. ??”The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program” in Kingston, NY is made possible by generous public support including a donation from Kevin McEvoy and Barbara Epstein.

To become involved in Urban Agriculture in the City of Kingston, visit Urban Agriculture in Kingston, NY

 

The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program Retire Gardens in 2012.

 

After a successful year of gardening and learning farming practices, The Dig Kids (an Urban Farming Program) closed their gardens at both the Everett Hodge Center on Franklin Street and the Van Buren Street Park on Van Buren Street, both in Kingston.

Thanks to all for making it great especially Jesica Clark, Megan Weiss and Valerie Linet.

Look forward to 2013.

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The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program in 2012 was made possible in part by the City of Kingston Community Development Block Grant and through public donations.

About “The Dig Kids: An Urban Farming Program” for Youth Created by the Kingston Land Trust in 2011 with a grant from the Columbia Foundation and a donation by Family of Woodstock, ‘The Dig Kids” is charged in working with Kingston youth to grow food, learn farming practices, encourage entrepreneurship, beautification, pride and good health through hands on farming experiences.

About the South Pine Street City Farm The South Pine Street City Farm is an urban farm located in the Hudson Valley’s Kingston, NY. On a 1/4 acre lot, the farm grows produce destined for the city’s various tables. Striving to provide absolutely delicious vegetables and fruits grown minutes from their destination, the SPSCF uses responsible and regenerative growing practices. In support of the The Queens Galley, some of the proceeds help fund the organization’s mission to provide awareness, education, relief and prevention of food insecurity in America. With our Partners The Kingston Land Trust and Binnewater Ice Co. we are building a community that values open, green and productive spaces.

About Kingston Cares Kingston Cares is a community collaborative sponsored by Family of Woodstock, Inc. and funded by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration through a Drug Free Communities grant. For more information, visit: LINK

About Croswell Enterprises, Inc. Croswell Enterprises, LTD’s philosophy is simple: provide high quality bulk landscaping materials with old fashioned service. While their website provides a wealth of information, they welcome your calls to discuss and make recommendations for your individual project. Their products include: Dynagro Garden Soil, Dynagro Topsoil, Dynamulch, Landscape Mulch, Dynagro Super Rich Compost, Gravel and Round River Stone. Dynagro Garden Soil and Dynamulch are their most popular products. Dynagro Garden Soil is a custom blended soil,ready to plant! Rich in organic material with a light texture and balanced ph, this soil is perfect for flower and vegetable growing. Dynamulch TM is a compost enriched mulch which can be used as a mulch or as a soil conditioner. For more information, feel free to contact their office at (845) 331-4232, visit them at croswellenterprises.com or friend them on FACEBOOK

About the City of Kingston Parks and Recreation Department Led by Director Kevin Gilfeather, the Kingston Parks and Recreation Department oversees Kingston’s park system and organizes many programs for residents and tourists that include boating, kayaking, youth, adult and senior programs, environmental education, adult sports and more. www.kingston-ny.gov

 

The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program Annual BBQ Celebration a Big Success.

The Dig Kids celebrate at the Van Buren Street Playground, a City of Kingston Park.

The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program created by the Kingston Land Trust in partnership with Kingston Cares (a program of Family of Woodstock), the South Pine Street City Farm, the City of Kingston Parks and Recreation Department and sponsored by Croswell Enterprises – hosted their annual BBQ at the Van Buren Street Playground, a city of Kingston Park this afternoon. Over 100 people came to celebrate our Dig Kids and to enjoy a BBQ supplied by the Church Communities.

Special thanks to the Church Communities, Jesica Clark and the South Pine Street City Farm, Megan Weiss of Kingston Cares (a program of Family of Woodstock), Valerie Linet, Meghan Casey and all of our hard working Dig Kids Garden Mentors and Jr. Gardeners.

The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program in 2012 was made possible in part by the City of Kingston Community Development Block Grant and through public donations.

The Van Buren Street Playground Food and Flower Gardens in full bloom.

Hip hop dancing!

Sharing moves.

Making T-Shirts for the Dig Kids as souvenirs. Thank you Jesica!

Farmer Jesica Clark.

The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program in 2012.

Dig Kid Deon Edmond gives guests a tour that included Ward 4 Alderman Shirley Whitlock.

Some guests took home gifts! Red Beets from the Van Buren Street Playground gardens.

 

The Dig Kids Celebrate End of Season BBQ Celebration in 2012

The Dig Kids in 2012.

The Dig Kids, an Urban Farming Program created by the Kingston Land Trust, host a BBQ in Midtown to celebrate their garden successes in 2012 on Thursday, August 23rd. Citizens are invited to meet at the Everett Hodge Center at 4:30pm for a garden walk to the Van Buren Street Playground where they can enjoy the new garden with hamburgers, hot dogs, homemade pesto pasta and programming by the 2012 Dig Kids.

Kingston – The Dig Kids, an Urban Farming Program created by the Kingston Land Trust in partnership with Kingston Cares (a program of Family of Woodstock), The South Pine Street City Farm and with support from the Kingston Parks and Recreation Department, City of Kingston and sponsored by Croswell Enterprises, inc. invites all to celebrate their garden successes in 2012.

Since May, eight Kingston youth between the ages of 14 – 19 have been provided an educational stipend to work weekly and grow vegetables under the stewardship of Farmer Jesica Clark, a first generation organic farmer and Valerie Linet both formerly from Phillies Bridge Farm. Through the Dig Kids program, the teenagers have transformed the front of the community center at the Everett Hodge Center with a vegetable garden – and new to the program this year, the Van Buren Street Playground garden, a city of Kingston Park, while learning valuable farming skills that include garden visioning, soil construction, companion planting, harvesting and preparing or donating their vegetables.

Kingston citizens are invited to meet the Dig Kids at the Everett Hodge Center 15-21 Franklin Street on Thursday, August 23td at 4:30pm for a garden walk to the Van Buren Street Playground on Van Buren Street for hamburgers and hot dogs and other festivities.

Donations for ‘The Dig Kids’ program for 2013 are currently being accepted. Please contact Rebecca Martin at the Kingston Land Trust at 845/750-7295 for more information on the event, or how you might be a future donor or sponsor.

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About “The Dig Kids: An Urban Farming Program” for Youth Created by the Kingston Land Trust in 2011 with a grant from the Columbia Foundation and a donation by Family of Woodstock, ‘The Dig Kids” is charged in working with Kingston youth to grow food, learn farming practices, encourage entrepreneurship, beautification, pride and good health through hands on farming experiences.

About the South Pine Street City Farm The South Pine Street City Farm is an urban farm located in the Hudson Valley’s Kingston, NY. On a 1/4 acre lot, the farm grows produce destined for the city’s various tables. Striving to provide absolutely delicious vegetables and fruits grown minutes from their destination, the SPSCF uses responsible and regenerative growing practices. In support of the The Queens Galley, some of the proceeds help fund the organization’s mission to provide awareness, education, relief and prevention of food insecurity in America. With our Partners The Kingston Land Trust and Binnewater Ice Co. we are building a community that values open, green and productive spaces.

About Kingston Cares Kingston Cares is a community collaborative sponsored by Family of Woodstock, Inc. and funded by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration through a Drug Free Communities grant. For more information, visit: LINK

About Croswell Enterprises, Inc. Croswell Enterprises, LTD’s philosophy is simple: provide high quality bulk landscaping materials with old fashioned service. While their website provides a wealth of information, they welcome your calls to discuss and make recommendations for your individual project. Their products include: Dynagro Garden Soil, Dynagro Topsoil, Dynamulch, Landscape Mulch, Dynagro Super Rich Compost, Gravel and Round River Stone. Dynagro Garden Soil and Dynamulch are their most popular products. Dynagro Garden Soil is a custom blended soil,ready to plant! Rich in organic material with a light texture and balanced ph, this soil is perfect for flower and vegetable growing. Dynamulch TM is a compost enriched mulch which can be used as a mulch or as a soil conditioner. For more information, feel free to contact their office at (845) 331-4232, visit them at croswellenterprises.com or friend them on FACEBOOK

About the City of Kingston Parks and Recreation Department Led by Director Kevin Gilfeather, the Kingston Parks and Recreation Department oversees Kingston’s park system and organizes many programs for residents and tourists that include boating, kayaking, youth, adult and senior programs, environmental education, adult sports and more. www.kingston-ny.gov


The Dig Kids at Van Buren Street Playground Continues to be a Big Success.

The Kingston Land Trust ‘The Dig Kids’ – an Urban Farming Program is having a great year in 2012. In addition to the Everett Hodge Center Children’s Garden, the program added three fairly large abandoned garden beds located at the Van Buren Street Playground, a city of Kingston Park. There, the Dig Kids with the help of many neighborhood children have had a great couple of months growing food and flowers and making a big difference in the neighborhood.

SAVE THE DATE! Share in their success by participating in the Dig Kids annual BBQ at the Van Buren Playground and in the gardens on Thursday, August 23rd. More details to come.

The Dig Kids is a program of the Kingston Land Trust in partnership with Kingston Cares, the South Pine Street City Farm and the City of Kingston Parks and Recreation Department. Sponsored by Croswell Enterprises, Inc.

The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program is Awarded Funding through Community Development Block Grant

The Dig Kids in 2012 get oriented.

The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program of the Kingston Land Trust is awarded funding from the City of Kingston’s Community Development Block Grant in 2012 .   Kingston youth have been selected this season that include Farm Assistants, Garden Mentors and Jr. Gardeners who will practice urban farming methods at two midtown locations two days a week from May through late August.

Kingston – ‘The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program”  is charged in working with Kingston youth to grow food, learn farming practices, encourage entrepreneurship, beautification, pride and good health through hands on farming experiences. Created by the Kingston Land Trust in partnership with Kingston Cares (a program of Family of Woodstock), The South Pine Street City Farm and with support from the Kingston Parks and Recreation Department and sponsored by Croswell Enterprises,  the Kingston Land Trust welcomes its youth participants in 2012.

Garden Mentors (14-21 of age) were selected during an application process and will be paid an educational stipend that include Kingston residents Jehan Senai Worthy,  Jamel Keyes,  Robert FitzgeraldDeon Edmond and Shannon Cowgill.   As part of the program’s mission, Jr. Gardeners (13 or younger) were also selected and will be mentored by the Dig Kids. 

Two Dig Kids from last season, Matthew Brownlee and Brenda Olivo were promoted as “Farmer Assistants” to the Dig Kids Program Coordinator, first generation organic farmer and founder of the South Pine Street City Farm Jesica Clark.  Clark will be joined this year by Valerie Linet of Boiceville, also a Coordinator of the program. 

“Creating opportunities for youth to get practical farming experience through the Dig Kids is key.  Last year, we found that two of our Dig Kids developed a real interest in the work and we were able to promote them to Farm Assistants in 2012,”  says Rebecca Martin, Executive Director of the Kingston Land Trust. “I’m proud that our program can accommodate youth interest in this way, as it helps to illustrate the possibilities to young, budding farmers.”

Partial funding for “The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program” was awarded to the Kingston Land Trust by the City of Kingston through the Community Development Block Grant, a program that is designed to develop viable urban communities through housing, economic development, elimination of slums and blight, expansion of community services and neighborhood revitalization. 

If you are interested in “The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program” or any other of the initiatives of the Kingston Land Trust Urban Agriculture Committee visit www.kingstonlandtrust.org or contact Rebecca Martin, Executive Director at 845/877-LAND or 845/750-7295.

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About the Kingston Land Trust – An urban trust, the Kingston Land Trust is a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to theprotection and preservation of open space, historic sites, wetlands, scenic areas, and forests in the City of Kingston and thesurrounding region to include the Town of Ulster and the Town of Kingston.www.kingstonlandtrust.org

About Kingston Cares –  Kingston Cares is a community collaborative sponsored by Family of Woodstock, Inc. and funded by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration through a Drug Free Communities grant. For more information, visit:LINK

About The South Pine Street City Farm –  The South Pine Street City Farm is dedicated to serve as a model of urban agriculture for the City of Kingston and beyond.  This small scale market garden will show that agriculture can thrive in an urban environment while also providing important educational components to encourage other farm projects throughout urban areas in the Hudson Valley.  The farm and its growers will work in partnerships with individuals and organizations in the community to achieve a farm and food based network.   With support from Binnewater Ice, Co. and the Kingston Land Trust.  For more, visit LINK

About Croswell Enterprises, Inc.-   Croswell Enterprises, LTD’s philosophy is simple: provide high quality bulk landscaping materials with old fashioned service. While their website provides a wealth of information, they welcome your calls to discuss and make recommendations for your individual project. Their products include: Dynagro Garden Soil, Dynagro Topsoil, Dynamulch, Landscape Mulch, Dynagro Super Rich Compost, Gravel and Round River Stone. Dynagro Garden Soil and Dynamulch are their most popular products. Dynagro Garden Soil is a custom blended soil,ready to plant!  Rich in organic material with a light texture and balanced ph, this soil is perfect for flower and vegetable growing. Dynamulch TM is a compost enriched mulch which can be used as a mulch or as a soil conditioner. For more information, feel free to contact their office at (845) 331-4232, visit them at croswellenterprises.com or friend them on FACEBOOK

About the City of Kingston Parks and Recreation Department – Led by Director Kevin Gilfeather, the Kingston Parks and Recreation Department oversees Kingston’s park system and organizes many programs for residents and tourists that include boating, kayaking, youth, adult and senior programs, environmental education, adult sports and more.  www.kingston-ny.gov

 

The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program Featured in Visit Vortex Hudson Valley

The Dig Kids were featured in “Visit Vortex Hudson Valley ” this month! READ THE FULL ARTICLE

A Down to Earth Community Youth Program

Throughout the five-month, May to September, program five youth Garden Mentors are paid a stipend to work after school each week—totaling 10 hours a month at their main garden site at the Everette Hodge Center on Kingston’s Franklin Street. Youths must be 14 to 19 years to participate—and each selected Dig Kid can choose a Junior Gardener 13 years or younger to mentor throughout the program. ??Martin noted that teenagers are typically expected to do something for nothing and although it’s important to let youths know the value of volunteering, she said, “Paying the teenagers is more than an incentive; it’s also a way for them to learn to take care of themselves as many teens today work to help pay their family’s bills.”

Family of Woodstock’s “Kingston Cares” Joins the Effort

According to Martin, The Dig Kids got off the ground with the assistance of Megan Weiss, coordinator of Kingston Cares, a Family of Woodstock program. Weiss located the five teenage gardeners who live in Midtown. Weiss said that she loves her connection with the Kingston Land Trust and this program. Giving much credit to Weiss, Martin said that Weiss was instrumental in introducing The Dig Kids program to the community youth, working with families to ensure youth participation, and assisting with planning, supervision, and transportation. ??“When I first started working at the Everette Hodge Center six years ago, the current garden area was covered in weeds and was not being used at all,” said Weiss. “The first year, I worked with a few children to remove the weeds and plant a few flowers and continued to spruce up the area, but never would have realized the potential of that small garden area without the collaboration with the Kingston Land Trust.”? READ THE ARTICLE

The Dig Kids Retires Gardens in 2011 and Look Ahead to 2012.

Matthew Brownlee

 

After a successful year of gardening and learning farming practices, The Dig Kids (an Urban Farming Program) held their final work party to close their garden at the Everett Hodge Center on Franklin Street in Kingston.

Later in the afternoon, volunteers joined some of our ‘Dig Kids’ at the City Hall Victory Garden to collect the harvest and close the garden there for the year as well. City Hall staff did a fantastic job maintaining the gardens this season!  With pounds of greens, we all made our way over to the Queens Galley Soup Kitchen to make a food donation to help feed the community.

Plans are underway to expand ‘The Dig Kids” program in 2012 to include the Van Buren Street Park in Midtown.

If you wish to be a volunteer or make a donation to this valuable farming initiative, please contact Rebecca Martin at 845/877-5263 or email  kingstonlandtrust@gmail.com

Harvesting the final tomatoes at the Everett Hodge Center.

 

The garden at the Everett Hodge Center retired in 2011. The youth did a fantastic job.

The City Hall Victory Garden was beautiful this season thanks to the Kingston Clerks Office and other City Hall staff.

Garden Volunteer Lei Isaacs helps to prepare Kale and other greens for delivery to the Queens Galley Soup Kitchen.

"The Dig Kids" close the City Hall Victory Garden. Great work!

Kingston Land Trust Executive Director Rebecca Martin is surrounded here by 'The Dig Kids'. Greens picked and packed to be delivered to the Queens Galley Soup Kitchen.

The Dig Kids Harvest Tomatoes for Salsa

"The Dig Kids" prepare what they grow.

Last week, “the Dig Kids” processed tomatoes from their garden at the Everett Hodge Center for salsa. Using additional ingredients from the South Pine Street City Farm thanks to Farmer Jesica Clark such as red onion, cilantro and jalapeno – the youth learned cubing, dicing and chopping skills to make their dish delicious.  It’s very cool to be able to eat the food that you grow or to be able to grab veggies from another garden just a few blocks away from where you are.

Fresh salsa using all locally grown ingredients.

It's a good feeling to make your own food.

The Dig Kids Host Garden Walk and BBQ in Midtown Kingston

Picking fresh corn from the South Pine Street City Farm for the grill. Can't beat that.

By Rebecca Martin

The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program created by the Kingston Land Trust with a grant from the Columbia Foundation and a donation from Family of Woodstock celebrated its successful garden season with a garden walk through Midtown and BBQ at the South Pine Street City Farm this afternoon.  75 people attended the event and enjoyed local hamburgers and hotdogs from Kingston’s own Fleishers Grass Fed and Organic Meats (at least a dozen people made a point to tell me that they had never tasted such good burgers and dogs). The Church Community cooked for us all – and after, the Mid Hudson Youth Chorale performed for our guests at the farm.

The Kingston Land Trust wishes to expand ‘The Dig Kids’ program in 2012 – and we are searching for donors and sponsors. If you are interested, please contact me at: Rebecca Martin  845/877-LAND (5263) or 845/750-7295.

Special Thanks: Jesica Clark and the South Pine Street City Farm, the Queens Galley, Binnewater Ice, Fleisher’s Grass Fed Meats, Kingston Cares, the Everett Hodge Center, the Church Community, Mark Foley and Volunteer Music, Mathew Camara and the Hudson Valley Youth Chorale Julie and Steve Noble, Adams Fairacre Farm and our biggest thanks to the Kingston Land Trust’s Dig Kids this year. You have made a big impact in our community!

Parents and Children line up to participate in the garden walk through Midtown.

Led by Farmer Jesica Clark, who created the South Pine Street City Farm on South Pine Street in Midtown, Kingston.

Final stretch! Participants crossing Greenkill Avenue on their way to the South Pine Street City Farm.

The children begin to arrive to the farm for a game of tag!

Everyone enjoyed Fleisher's Grass Fed meats cooked to perfection by the Church Communities.

The children gathered to make a wish and release their balloons.

There they go...

We were entertained by the Mid Hudson Youth Chorale.

The audience was captivated. It was a great event for all!